Pastor Hassan Mansaray of 4 HIM(SL) jailed for 6 years
Pastor Hassan Mansaray, Overseer of the His Helping Healing Hands International (4HIM), who was convicted by Justice J.B. Katutsi for corruption offenses and given an alternative sentence of a Le250 million fine or six years imprison, was on Monday, October 21 this year, sent to jail at the Pademba Road Prison in Freetown for failing to pay the said amount.
Jointly charged with his Accountant, Mr. Abdul Aziz Carew, they were given a month by Justice Katutsi to pay the said amount which was the end of September this year, as the judgment was delivered sometime in August.
As spelt out in the judgment, Pastor Hassan Mansaray was found guilty and requested to pay $250 million or face six years in jail whilst Mr. Abdul Aziz Carew, was found guilty by the Judge and ordered to pay the sum of Le 50 million or face 3 years in jail.
Pastor Mansaray is reported to have paid the sum of $50 million out of the Le250 million alternative fine whilst the Mr. Abdul Aziz Carew paid Le 30 million out of the L50 million.
They were represented by legal luminaries and were arraigned before Justice M.A. Paul at the High Court on Monday, 21st October this year for an extension of the date.
Lawyer Roland Wright representing the convicted Pastor Hassan Mansaray made an application for an extension of the date, stating that the accused has paid Le50 million of the :e250 million and cited many provisions for such an extension.
He stated that because of the conviction, the organization has not been funded and the welfare of those kids under the care of the convict was at stake.
According to him, the applicant has every intention to adhere to the order of the Court and pay the said amount if he was given more time to do so.
Opposing the said application, the Prosecutor representing the State, Lawyer M.I. Kanu, said such application should be struck out or dismissed because it was not proper before the Court.
He stated that the application was made by a Notice of Motion and as per case law in Sierra Leone it must be entitled in matters of law in which it is made, citing relevant provisions and cases. He stressed that the jurisdiction of the High Court was restricted to the Criminal Procedure Act or any other Act where it is empowered.
The Prosecution further stated that assuming without consideration if the Court is of the view to have a jurisdiction to hear the application, he submits that Section 48(2) of the Court of Appeal Rules gives discretion for the application as the Court may deem fit.
He maintained that insofar as the issue relating to the Court’s discretion is concerned, His Lordship can take discretion pertaining affidavit or notice as the case may be. He said in this regard, he was therefore urging the Court to dismiss the application and the judgment of the Hon. Katutsi in August be enforced and the applicants sent to prison.
Replying to the said submission by the Prosecution, Defense Lawyer Roland Wright said the vey Act requited also gives the Court the power to suspend payment or fines if it deems it necessary, adding that all authorities re-quoted are only applicable in the case where the Court made orders. He pointed out that the convict was capable of paying the said amount if given time.
Lawyer Wright also cited that the Prosecution has failed to show what rules are broken in the title.
In his ruling, Justice M.A. Paul said that the convict has stolen a huge amount of money in the name of God, to run an orphanage because it is a service to God, but to hide behind this service and convert the money for the orphanage to his own use is a crime.
He said the convict should have paid the money at the end of September, 2013, but failed to pay. He said the convict should therefore spend his six years imprison, while Mr. Abdul Aziz Carew was granted a month’s extension to pay the balance sum of Le20 million and serve his sentence of 3 months imprisonment.
By Abdul Hassan Fackie
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